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March 30, 2016

District Court’s Overruling FSOC’s Designation of MetLife as Systemically Important Is a Dangerous Development for Financial Stability and Protecting Taxpayers from Future Bailouts

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Contact: Shanessa Bryant, 202-618-6433 or

Washington, DC — Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, released the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the designation of MetLife as a systemically important financial institution is being rescinded:

“This district court’s decision appears to give global financial conglomerates like MetLife a license to be a too-big-to-fail systemic threat without any increased supervision to protect the country.  If so, that is a direct threat to the economic security, opportunity and prosperity of the American people, which must be overturned on appeal.

“The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is the country’s only front line defense against systemically significant nonbank financial institutions.  The court’s overruling of FSOC’s designation of the global financial conglomerate MetLife as systemically significant is a dangerous development that threatens the entire structure that protects the country and its taxpayers from future financial crashes caused by nonbanks in the so-called shadow banking system.  

“This decision has the momentous potential to establish two unequal standards where systemically significant banks are highly regulated, but systemically significant nonbanks are unregulated.  This will incentivize systemic risks to migrate to nonbanks and enable systemic threats to grow unseen until they explode, threaten the financial system and economy, and require taxpayer bailouts.  This was one of the key drivers of the 2008 financial catastrophe and one of the key reasons for the 2010 financial reform law, which created FSOC for the very purpose of protecting the American people from that ever happening again.

“We await the court’s release of an unsealed version of its opinion so that the American people can know the basis for the decision and the extent of damage can be fully evaluated.”


Better Markets, Inc. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street, and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business, and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements, and more. To learn more, visit

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